Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Tale of Work and Liberation

Fortunately or unfortunately we all perceive ourselves as individuals. During our individual lives, there are moments when we experience certain emptyness, i.e., moments when we are not aware of our individuality. These moments occur to everyone but only few realize their importance. These moments of emptyness and void have a very unique and powerful expression of "Who am I?" "Why all this?" "How did this creation came to be?" "When nothing and no one was there, then who and what was?" eventually boiling down to the question "Why?" which also implicitly contains the answer as "I Am" and "I".

Vedas points us to the beginnings of this creation, for example Nasadiya Suktam of Rig Veda mentions from nothingness everything was born. In other words, in the beginning there was only Supreme, then with a desire to know itself, a spark of Supreme imposed limitations on itself and became an ignorant Jiva and that primal desire (Maya) manifested as the Creation. This Jiva due to his ignorance fancies various limited expressions like anger, jealousy, passion, fear, attraction and so on so forth and starts experiencing them. Forgetting his true nature, he takes several births entangled in these limited expressions. After several births, Jiva finally realizes that these expressions are ephemeral in nature and are not at all real. Understanding the ephemeral nature of these expressions, he sets out to find out his own true nature and starts following various (Yogic) practices. Our scriptures broadly categorize these practices in to four categories, which are Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Kriya Yoga and Karma Yoga. 

Each Yogic practice imposes its own conditions to bestow Liberation. Practice of Jnana Yoga requires a practitioner to have no doubts at all. Even a single doubt destroys all the Jnana that a practitioner acquires through Sadhana. On the other hand, Bhakti Yoga requires complete surrendering to the diety or guru. Even a single control over an individual interest destroys all the spiritual wealth acquired through this path. Whereas Kriya Yoga requires both individual Sadhana as well as Guru's blessings or divine will to succeed, absence of even a single dimension can destroy the merits of this practice. Karma Yoga imposes minimal restrictions on the practitioner. Karma Yogi only knows to perform action without caring about the outcome of the action, without attaching to the past memories and past outcomes. Hence, in terms of restrictions imposed to bestow merits, Karma Yoga is the most effective when compared to all other Yogic paths.

Once we understand the importance of Karma Yoga. Now let's understand the nature of work and it's relationship to Liberation.  To begin with, it would not be silly to ask question "What is work?". But answer is certainly simple, work is simply be defined as an action. Hence, it can be written as "Work = Action". Action can be defined as "Cause and a Certain Effect". This definition of Action directly corresponds to the definition of Karma as given by our scriptures. 

Once we define Work, it is natural to ask question "How can we define un-productive work?". Un-productive work can simply be defined as bad action which means "Cause and its undesire-able Effect". Because desire is involved here, this is a bad Karma. On the other hand, if we define productive work as good action, meaning "Cause and its desire-able Effect". Even here, because desire is involved, even this can be seen as bad Karma because desire creates bondage. Is there a better definition of productive work? Well, if productive work is defined simply as "Cause and its Effect (no desire-able or undesire-able)" then because there is no expectation or desire is involved here, this is certainly a good Karma because it bestows freedom. But, scriptures proclaim that practicing action without any expectation of an outcome is Karma Yoga. That means that productive work  is equivalent to Karma Yoga. 

With these above definitions we can relate productive work, Karma Yoga, Action, and Work as following:
Productive Work
= Karma Yoga
= Action - Expectation
= Work - Expectation

Expectations correspond to future, but what about past? Doesn't past memories affect Karma? Let us understand why past and future are important components here to consider.

Jiva or an individual is essentially made up of three components (one real and two illusory). These three components are Past, Present and Future. Past and Future are illusory components that create bondage, whereas Present is a real component that bestows ultimate freedom or liberation. Desires of the Jiva form Future component whereas Past component is composed of memories and emotional baggage. 


Liberation can be defined as following: 
Liberation
= Jiva - (Future+Past)
= Jiva - (desires + emotional baggage + memories)

Because Work or Karma is directly associated with Jiva. Above equations can be rewritten as:
Liberation
= Jiva - (Future+Past)
= Work - (Future + Past)
= Work - (desires + emotional baggage + memories)

As discussed before this directly is also the definition of productive work also Karma Yoga. 

Liberation
= Work - (Future + Past)
= Work - (desires + emotional baggage + memories)
= Productive work
= Karma Yoga

In summary, there is a direct relationship between Karma and Liberation. Productive work or good Karma always liberates whereas Un-productive work or bad Karma creates bondage.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Birth of Ganesha

Today is Ganesh Chaturthi, I want to re-tell an ancient story of his birth in his own light of wisdom.

That day when Maha Shiva was away, Mother Parvati was restless and was about to take bath by applying turmeric over her body, but in order to protect the sanctity of the place she took a lump of turmeric paste from her body and created a son out of that. She made him guard by bestowing him with very powerful weapons. She also asked him not to allow anyone. She asked him to be brave and told him that he is the son of Maha Shakti herself. With this assurance, little boy developed immense ego within him feeling pride of his existence. This ego marked the beginning of his ignorance.

This little kid started to guard his mother, and in sometime Maha Shiva arrived at the place. Little kid stopped Shiva and asked him to go away. Maha Shiva immediately sensed that this little kid is his own son. Shiva insisted, but this little kid was very brave and was very strict and did not allow him. Shiva was very happy looking at his sons braveness. Then little kid, started boasting about his powers and how powerful his mother is, belittling every other creature in his universe. He started showing extreme ego in front of Ultimate himself. Shiva sensed his ego, and he was extremely angry on his ego, but not on him.

Shiva immediately took his Trishula which represents self-realization and chopped of his head. Here head symbolizes ego, so essentially ego has been chopped off by the stroke of self-realization. With this act of Shiva, little kid lost his identity and individuality as his ego has been chopped off. Parvati witnessed this and begged Shiva to bestow him with wisdom.

Shiva then brought Elephants head which symbolizes wisdom, he attached it to the body of that little kid. So in essence when ego goes and wisdom arrives, then a normal egoistic individual becomes divine and worship worthy God. That's what that little kid had become with that elephant head, he became God with full of wisdom. He was called Ganapathi.

Ga' symbolises Buddhi (intellect), 'Na' stands for Vijnana (wisdom). So, Ganapati is the master of Buddhi and Vijnana.

Friday, January 31, 2014

You are Trinity -- Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva

When you wake up from deep sleep, you are Brahma, the creator. This is because, when you wake up from deep sleep, first thought 'I' creates your world.

While you are awake, you are Vishnu, the sustainer. This is because you sustain your world in the field of your consciousness.

When you go to deep sleep, you become Shiva, the destroyer. This is because, in deep sleep, 'I' disappears which destroys your world and it ceases to exist anymore.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mystic's Equations

Jnana = - Illusion = Mind - Expectation
Jnana Yoga = Mind - Expectation

Karma = Action
Karma Yoga = Actionlessness = Action - Expectation

Bhakti = Devotion
Bhakti Yoga = Devotion - Expectation

Yoga = Union = - Expectation

Karma Yoga - Action = Bhakti Yoga - Devotion = Jnana Yoga - Mind
Action = Devotion = Mind
Action = Devotion = f(Intellect)

Functioning = f(Action, Devotion, Intellect)
When Action = Devotion = Intellect,
Functioning = NULL
----> Hence, nothing ever happens

Jnana Yoga = f(-Expectation)
Karma Yoga = f(-Expectation)
Bhakti Yoga = f(-Expectation)
----> Hence, Jnana Yoga = Karma Yoga = Bhakti Yoga

Yoga = Mind - Expectation
But, without expectation there is no mind. So we have:
Mind = Expectation
Yoga = 0
----> Yoga is complete in itself, it can also be termed as nothingness. 'I Am not yet I Am' may be apt way to express this.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Learn

Learn to speak without words

Learn to see without eyes

Learn to hear without ear

Learn to feel without touch

Learn to enjoy the fragrance without smell

Act outside but learn to live inside

Prostrate in front of idol but learn to see god in yourself

Doesn't matter if you cannot speak politely externally but learn to see oneness of everything inside you

Ask questions but learn to see that questions are not yours

Learn to unlearn everything to dissolve in unknown


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Visible but Invisible


I bow to that

It is always visible but you cannot see it

It wants to tell you but you are not ready to listen to it

It brings up contexts to tell you, but I pity your inattention

You keep searching it, will never find it, simply because you search

Even if you find it, you don't want to see it, and you never give up your search

Even if I beg you to see it, you will not

What use is your knowledge and intellect when you cannot see the obvious? 

I bow to that

It is indeed visible but invisible.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Guru's Birth

Guru takes birth only when you completely surrender.

Till then Guru doesn't exist for you.

When Guru takes birth, he makes sure that you do not exist anymore, and this he ensures by making you himself.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Shiva's Third Eye



Popular belief is that when Shiva's third eye opens, it destroys the world and therefore Shiva is known as destructor.

Well, let's try to understand it's inner meaning. If you notice, Shiva's third eye is half open, and that represents an inner eye, observing 'I'. Complete opening of third eye represents that the observation is at maximum intensity causing destruction of 'I' and when 'I' is destroyed, world created by 'I' also is destroyed.

Basically destruction caused by Shiva's third eye represents destruction of individuality that kills so called an individual, which marks emergence of supreme, the ultimate, the One.

Loneliness and Aloneness

Loneliness means you are living devoid of others support or company. Loneliness causes sorrow, you long for someone's support, someone's company, someone's care. In short, loneliness is cry of an individual.

But Aloneness is majestic, it is unified one. There are no others when you are alone. In Aloneness, there are no others, so you don't long for others company, all that exists is you. This state has neither happiness nor sorrow in it, Aloneness is the capsule of ultimate bliss. In short, Aloneness is song of the soul, the spirit, the One.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Normal and Eccentric


When you imitate others, then others will call you normal and natural.

When you are spontaneous and natural, world calls you eccentric and mad man.

Just see that world is not apart from you and then world disappears. Then who cares about what?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sixth Sense

Intuition without intention is sixth sense.

That which is said without an intention is bound to happen.

It is not about predicting what is going to happen but it is about happening of what is being said.

I am not saying this to create interest in such things. I am just listing one of the properties of maya that lures you.

Focus on that which is beyond senses. Sixth sense is also a sense, what a waste!

Urge to Discuss Spirituality Should Go

Urge to discuss spirituality should go.

That urge should not be a bondage for you.

Spirit which is you, is all. So there is nothing special you have when compared to others.

Don't fall for this trap.

Not discussing it unnecessarily is great spiritual practice in itself, because when you do that, you are asserting the truth of one spirit in all.

Even if you discuss unnecessarily, you should be clear within you that you did something extremely foolish and disown your action.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Gods in Me

This moment is my mother Parameshwari

My deep sleep and my great silence is Shiva

My wakefulness is Vishnu

Objects that I create when I am awake is Brahma

My ability to witness my 'I'-ness is Ganesha

My ability to fight my doer-ship and my senses is Murugan

My everlasting freedom while I hold this body and mind is Dattatreya

My story of bondage and liberation is Shiva Linga

My secret key to liberation is Ananta Padmanabha

My willingness to teach myself about freedom is innumerable Rishis

Ashta Siddhis:

Anima: My ability to shrink my ego to nothingness whenever needed,
Garima: My ability to accommodate others by eliminating myself as and when needed
Mahima: My ability to grow infinitely heavy so that events that come and go does not affect me
Lagima: My ability to become almost weightless by holding on to no desires
Prapti: My ability to become completely aware of myself by becoming everything in this entire existence
Ishtva: I am Self, the supreme lord of myself, and I am source of everything with and without
Vashtva: Being subject and beyond, I control all my objects

I bow to my gods, I bow to Self, Soham

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Shiva Linga -- Story of Bondage and Liberation









Ocean gives birth to innumerable number of waves. Reality is that, wave cannot be separated from ocean as such, but if wave claims its individuality then that's an illusion and wave is bonded in its own illusory assumption. In this analogy, ocean is infinite consciousness and wave is a Jiva. Jiva assuming individuality, creates and imagines material that it owns and struggles to acquire and protect it throughout it's imaginary lifetime.

You might have seen Shiva Linga. Ellipsoid structure of the linga represents infinite consciousness. Surrounding boundary represents Maya, primal illusion that has no starting and no ending. When Maya seem to surround infinite consciousness then Jiva comes into being. Ash and other materials such as butter, milk, sugar, turmeric, flowers etc etc applied on Linga (can be seen Figure left and center) represents materials that Jiva assumed as its own. On top of Linga, container filled with water is tied which drips water drop by drop (as seen in top right Figure), this water washes away slowly and steadily the materials that is stuck to Linga. Here container filled with water represents wisdom, using wisdom and discrimination slowly and steadily Jiva gets detached to material that it created from nowhere and assumed to be its own. Once Jiva clears all the material attachments to itself, Jiva becomes free and liberates itself. That is, Jiva becomes Shiva.

This is the beautiful story of bonded Jiva meeting its beloved to become eternally free and unite with Supreme.

This lore of bondage and liberation of Jiva is encoded in our daily ritual of worshiping of Shiva Linga.



Monday, September 9, 2013

Ananta Padmanabha - Secret Key to Liberation


Ananta is the lord of snakes, that you see in the above picture. Ananta means infinite. Ananta has infinite heads, representing infinite perspectives. Mind always points to only one perspective, and gets trapped. When mind is trapped it creates external world and looks outside always reasoning about or searching something in one direction at a time. As you can see in the above picture, Ananta is looking inwards towards it's body, which represents Mind looking inwards. Infinite heads represent a Mind with infinite perspectives.

A Mind with infinite perspectives is no mind, it is actually void. When you look inwards at your real Self you are actually looking at God. Similarly, Ananta with infinite heads turns inwards and is looking at God in the above picture.

When one finds his real Self, he is said to be at complete rest. That state is an effortless state. It is pure consciousness and that has no movement at all and is in absolute rest. Lord Padmanabha resting in the above picture represent that completely effortless state.

Animate and in-animate take birth from pure consciousness alone. That means creator of world takes birth from pure consciousness. Brahma connected to Lord Padmanabha by an umbellical cord represents creator and creation taking birth from pure consciousness alone.